Owning a well-trained and intelligent dog is not only convenient, but also prestigious. Therefore, most owners spend an impressive amount of time teaching their four-legged pet basic commands.
Their knowledge allows them to walk the dog without problems, and also makes it easier to find the pet in public places.
You can train a dog on your own, without the help of a specialist, but for this you need to be patient and put a lot of effort, energy, time to make your pet a well-mannered and polite friend. In this article, Pets Feed will tell you about what the first steps should be, where and how to start training a dog.
At what age to train a dog?
Dog handlers recommend starting training in basic skills at 4 months of age. It is then that the puppy had already received the necessary minimum vaccinations and is ready to go out. Dog handlers advise starting with simple commands that will allow you to control your pet on the street and in public places.
But the age of 3-4 months is conditionally named. For example, decorative dogs mature early enough. And by 4-6 months they enter the age category of adolescents. Therefore, their training can begin at the age of 2-3 months.
And representatives of large and giant breeds (Great Dane, Mastiff, Central Asian Shepherd Dog, St Bernard, etc.) at the age of 4-6 months are completely foolish, albeit impressively sized babies. Therefore, it is necessary to decide when the optimal time for training has come in each specific case.
It is better to start training a dog at a puppy age, the earlier you take care of your pet, the better. Even toddlers under three months old are able to learn training lessons.
Where to train a dog?
Important: There is an opinion that it is impossible to train an adult dog. In fact, this is absolutely not the case. Training an adult animal requires more persistence and patience. But 99.9% of dogs can be taught basic commands in adulthood.
There are several main signs of a place that is most suitable for training a dog. Dog handlers suggest:
- The absence of distractions in the form of harsh and unknown sounds. They scatter the attention of the dog and the lesson becomes less effective;
- Lack of foreign animals. It will be quite difficult to overcome the instincts in a four-legged pet. Therefore, many dogs are distracted by their relatives, cats or birds. But after all, when training, the owner needs the maximum concentration of the dog;
- The absence of other people. Ideally, when training, there will be no members of the family and strangers. Nothing should interfere with the learning process and distract the pet’s attention.
Important: Experienced dog handlers recommend starting training for new commands at home. And only after developing a persistent skill, proceed to training on the street.
Dog training at home
This is the perfect place to start learning. The dog’s attention is fully concentrated on the owner and it is as ready for training as possible.
Experts recommend choosing a time when the owner is in the house alone with the dog. If people are constantly present in the house or apartment, then you should retire with the animal in a separate room.
And ask the rest of the family to be quiet. Thus, the owner will be able to maximally focus the animal’s attention on the learning process.
After the minimum skills have been obtained and the command has been mastered, you can proceed to practicing its implementation in public. Family members or close friends are good for this. That is, those people who are constantly present in the house and do not arouse increased interest in the animal.
After the basic commands have been worked out, you should look for a deserted place in the vicinity. Even in a noisy metropolis, you can find a nook where strangers rarely come.
This can be a construction site (in the evening after the end of the working day), a vacant lot or a garage cooperative. The main thing is that nothing distracts the pet.
Important: Homes training works well. But the owner should also remember about the other side of the coin. For example, that on the street the pet may not perceive the commands given to it. After all, he used to obey only at home.
Lesson with the dog on the training ground
Training on a special site is suitable for dogs that already have well-developed basic skills and the presence of strangers and people does not distract them from the training process.
It should be noted that the training grounds are equipped with various sports equipment. Therefore, they are an ideal place for training and outdoor activities of the dog.
Train your dog yourself or consult a dog handler?
Experienced dog handlers do not give a definite answer to this question. There are two options for the development of events:
- Self-training. With the necessary skills, the owner will be able to train his pet without any problems. in this case, you will need to be patient and persistent. In no case should you give free rein to emotions and punish the dog if he does the wrong command or even refuses to learn.
- Training with a dog handler. Often a situation arises in which the owner, due to his soft disposition, is not able to show the perseverance necessary for effective training. Or the dog stubbornly refuses to execute even elementary commands. In this case, you should seek the help of a specialist. A dog handler teaches even a difficult-to-communicate pet in a few days, and a fully prepared animal returns to the owner.
Important: when choosing Self-training, it is necessary that only one person is engaged in training. If today one member of the family deals with the animal, and tomorrow another, then the result may be disastrous.
The dog gets used to the commands and teaching methods of one person. Therefore, with the participation of several family members, it is too rash to talk about an effective training system.
How often should you train your dog?
In dog training, several factors are of primary importance. It is persistence, consistency and regularity. That is why dog handlers claim that regularity is one of the main conditions in the learning process.
Daily activities at home will allow you to quickly develop a useful skill, and also prevent your pet from forgetting previously learned commands.
The best solution would be to regularly repeat what you have teaching to your dog. This can be done both at home and in specially equipped places. These can be fenced-in areas for walking dogs or training grounds.
After the dog has learned the basic commands, it can be taken out of town for a walk and practice the acquired skills. Outdoor activities should be held at least 2-4 times a week.
Where to start and how to prepare?
Preparation for the first lesson, according to experienced dog handlers, should begin with a short walk.
Do not walk with the animal if the dog is completely tired. But the dog must have time to go to the toilet and run a little. Then he will be as ready to perceive the learning process. Training before the usual meal times is a major mistake.
It is worth stocking up on the favorite animal treat. And give it only after a correctly executed command. Give up the habit of giving out this treat just like that. It should be praise for a correctly executed command.
Small dog training
Training small dogs is very important for their safety. Of course, a miniature Yorkshire is unlikely to be able to protect its mistress from attack.
But the possession of such a useful skill as the “to me” command and the firmly developed habit of not taking a treat from the wrong hands will save the pet from disaster. After all, well-groomed and stylish dogs are often stolen for the purpose of subsequent resale.
According to the dog handlers, the obligatory commands that a pet of miniature size should know are “to me”, “sit”, “don’t move”, “no”. And also, elementary concepts of exposure.
Big dog training
Training dogs of medium, large and giant breeds requires a lot of patience. These pets are impressive in size and can harm others.
That is why representatives of such breeds should be perfectly trained. This will avoid the occurrence of unpleasant situations associated with the dissatisfaction of others.
Learning should start at home and continue outside. At the same time, if commands are being worked out not in specially designated places, then the pet must have a muzzle and a collar.
Choose a leather muzzle or its metal mesh counterpart. Such models allow you to freely give a treat and reward the dog for the correct command.
In addition to the basic training course, owners of large dogs often train their pets in a protective guard service. Doing this is necessary only with the participation of an experienced instructor and special equipment.
Which breeds are better trained?
Statistics say that there are several breeds that lend themselves to training as well as possible. These include:
German Shepherd. Very loyal dogs that easily master even the most complex commands;
Malinois. It is this dog that gave Belgian shepherds the qualification of “Formula 1 dogs”. Because of their psychological characteristics and their physical capacities
Cane Corso. Ideal for protecting an apartment or house. Easy to train and very dedicated. But it has certain difficulties in communicating with representatives of other breeds;
Black Russian Terrier. These dogs have an aggressive and rebellious character. Therefore, training should be done only by an experienced dog handler or an owner with a strong-willed character;
Maltese. Perfectly trainable and belongs to decorative breeds. Small size, sharp mind, combined with high sociability make this breed extremely popular and widespread.
Important: among representatives of any breed there are individuals that are extremely poorly trained. The problem may lie in the dog itself or in the person involved in the training. If the dog refuses to follow the commands and does not understand what we want from him, then it is better to seek help from a professional.
Cynologists give several recommendations to make training more effective:
- Do not repeat the given command more than two times;
- Change the sequence of commands in any form. Otherwise, the pet’s attention is reduced;
- Do not delay training time. The duration of the classes should vary from 35 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on the age and well-being of the dog;
- Observe the interval between commands. The dog should have time to rest a bit, make a couple of circles around the site or explore the nearest bushes;
- For animals that are too timid and insecure, this is a great alternative to strictness. With severe treatment, pets often begin to “dull” and get confused;
- It can be cast in voice. But the best results are obtained with treats.
Engage in training with pleasure, and then your pet will be happy to execute all commands
Take your dog for a good walk before class. By getting rid of excess energy, he will be calmer. In training, as in any training, a systematic and integrated approach is important. After all, all commands are important and necessary.
“Give” – this command can be taught even to a one-month old puppy. During the game, say “give” and exchange his favorite toy for a treat, praise. Continue playing and say give every two to three minutes. Don’t overdo it, five to seven commands a day is enough.
“Out” – practice this command in everyday life. An artificial environment for learning outside the home can be created by scattering food within a radius of several meters. When trying to taste a tasty treat, strictly give the taster the command “fu” and make a jerk with a leash.
“Beside” – first, train your dog to walk next to you on a leash. The command “near” is given at the beginning of the movement, before each turn in any direction, before stopping, before accelerating or decelerating the movement. When stopping, command “near, sit”, when turning, do not specify to the right or left, but simply command “near” and immediately turn, do the same when changing the pace of movement. You need to ensure that the dog clearly obeys your command: does not run forward, does not sit down when you stop, but walks next to the leg, turns with you and changes the pace of the walk on command. If your pet voluntarily and with pleasure walks alongside on a leash, throw the leash on his back and continue the promenade, thus teaching you to obey you without him.
“To me” is the command that is used most often in everyday life. So that, in any conditions and in any situation, having heard “to me”, the dog will happily run to you, the approach should be associated with something good. And then he will not exchange even a dozen cats on the horizon for being next to you. The command can be rehearsed while walking or when the pet is lying on endurance – from time to time call him to you.
Endurance is the basis of training. Exposure should be taught to a pet from three to four months of age. Teach while training other commands. Exposure is practiced in three positions: sitting, lying down and standing. First, you need to learn endurance in the lying position, when the dog masters it, proceed to training in other positions. Start training near your leg, gradually increasing the distance. At exposure, the dog should be in the position in which you commanded without moving (up to half an hour). Begin to train endurance from ten to fifteen seconds, each time you successfully complete the task, praise the pet.
“Sit” – is practiced together with other commands. The dog should always be near your left leg. Correct the dog if it does not sit correctly. But at first, do not focus on this, grind the correct fit gradually. The dog lies at the left leg, bring the treat to its nose and slowly lift it up. When the dog, pulling up for a treat, sits down completely – treat and praise the pet. A treat should be given only for a correctly executed command.
“To lie down” – the dog sits near the left leg, bring the treat to its nose, say the command and slowly lower the treat down. When the pet takes the right position, feed the treat and praise. You can turn to another method, but it is less effective: when the dog is sitting, take it just below the elbows and, commanding “lie down”, lay it down, after successful manipulation praise it, give it a treat.
“Stand” – you have to rehearse together with “sit” and “lie down”. Teaching this command is more difficult. Place the dog near the left leg, command “stand” – take it under the stomach and place it. Don’t let your pet spin. Of course, do not forget to praise and treat the standing pet.
“Aport” – trains while walking. The pet should be interested in the thing that is bringing you: a toy, a puller or a stick. Play the object with the dog, it should wake up with excitement and when it grabs the object with its teeth, pull it towards you, trying to pick it up, while saying “fetch” and praise. To pick up an item, command “give”. Then take the collar by the end, drop the toy a meter and a half and command “fetch”. When the dog brings it, play around, saying “fetch” and do not skimp on praise. Play for at least three to five minutes.